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Continuation of Lord Rishabhdev’s life as a Sadhu

Continuation of Lord Rishabhdevs life as a Sadhu
Kaccha, Mahakaccha, and the other royal ascetics, dwelling in the forest on the right bank of the Gangas like deer; wearing barkgarments like living trees; not touching householders’ food like something that had been vomited; their bodies very thin like empty skins, the elements dried up by fasts of two, three, or more days; even on the day for breaking fast eating dried leaves, dried fruit, etc., continued to think in their hearts only of the Blessed One, and did not go to another. The Blessed One, after wandering in silence among the Aryas and non-Aryas for a year without food, reflected as follows: “Just as lamps exist on oil, as trees on water, so on food alone the bodies of living creatures exist. Food which is entirely free from forty-two faults must be taken by the ascetic at the right time in a bee-like way. Moreover, if today I do not take food, as in the days past, for the sake of my vow, what then will happen? Other munis in the future, suffering from lack of food, will break the vow as these four thousand did.” With this thought, the Master set out to obtain alms and arrived at the city Gajapura, the ornament of a circle of cities.

In this city King Sreyansa, the heir of King Somaprabha who was the son of Bahubali, saw in a dream: “Meru, entirely dark, was made extremely brilliant by my sprinkling it with pitchers of water.” The merchant Subuddhi saw a thousand-rays fallen from the sun; replaced in it by Sreyansa, then the sun too was very bright. King Somayasas saw one man completely surrounded by many enemies gain the victory with the assistance of Sreyansa. These three told each other their dreams in the assembly and, not knowing their interpretation, went again to their own houses. Just then, as if to make apparent the meaning of the dreams, the Master entered the town Hastinapura (Gajapura) for alms. Walking with the grace of a bull, even though without food for a year, lord Vrsabha was seen by the citizens made joyful. Getting up and running in haste, the citizens surrounded the Master as if he were a relative who had come from a foreign country.

Continuation of Lord Rishabhdevs life as a Sadhu
One said, “O Blessed One, come, favor our houses. O lord, you are seen after a long time like the spring-festival.” Another said, “Since clothing, water, oil, and powder, suitable for the bath, are ready, bathe, O Master. Favor us.” Another said, “O Master, gratify my real sandal, camphor, musk, and yaksakardama-ointment by their use.” Another said, “O Jewel of the World, adorn our jeweled ornaments by putting them on your body. Show compassion.” Another said, “Enter my house, Master, and purify fine garments pleasing to the body.” Still another said, “Your Majesty, take from us a maiden like a goddess, O Lord. We are blessed from meeting you.” One said, “Enough of this going on foot even in sport. Do you, elephant* of kings, mount this elephant that is like a mountain.” Another said, “Take my horses that are like horses of the sun. Why, by not accepting hospitality, do you make us useless?” Another said, “Take chariots equipped with excellent horses. What, pray, are these to be used for, when the Lord is going on foot?” Another said, “Accept these ripe mangoes from us, O Lord. Do not scorn (your) friends.” Another said, “Accept from me these leaves of the betelvine and suparinuts. Be gracious, thou who alone are dear.” Another said, “Have I committed some crime, O Master, since you do not answer me, as if you did not hear me?” Even though urged in this way, the Lord did not take anything because of their unsuitability and went from house to house, like the moon from lunar mansion to lunar mansion.

Then Sreyansa, who was in his own house, heard the confusion of the citizens like that of birds at dawn. He asked the head doorkeeper, “What is this?” and he replied, standing before him with folded hands, “He who is served by Indras as well as by kings with intense devotion, falling in front of his footstool, the ground touched by their crowns; who, from compassion for the people made plain crafts for the sake of livelihood, as the sun makes plain objects; who divided this earth like the remains of his sacrifice and gave it to Bharata, etc., and also to you, when he intended to take initiation; who himself undertook penance, summer heat for drying up the mud of the eight karmas, by shunning all censurable activity; from the time of his vow the Lord has wandered, indifferent to worldly interests, free from self-interest, without food*, purifying the earth with his feet. He does not shrink from the heat of the sun, he does not delight in the shade. Like a mountain, the Master is the same to both. He does not loose color from cold; he does not become red from heat; as if having an adamant body, the Master remains any place. His gaze directed ahead for the space of three and half hands, not crushing even a worm, he wanders on foot, the lion to the elephant of samsara. The divinity of the three worlds, to be pointed out in visible form, by good fortune, your paternal great-grandfather comes here. That low murmur now is from all the citizens who are running after the Master, like cows after the cow-herd.”

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